What are the risks of driving without insurance?

We all know the rules: if you want to drive your car on public roads, then you need insurance. Still, thousands of people choose to ignore the law and get behind the wheel of an uninsured vehicle, posing a risk to themselves as well as other road users.
Perhaps you’ve been caught driving without cover in the past. If so, and you’re now looking to get back on the road, we may be able to help.
The Insurance Factory specialises in convicted driver insurance. We arrange cover for people who have committed motoring or non-motoring offences and could be struggling to find policies they can afford.
With access to a panel of specialist insurers, our aim is to find you competitively priced insurance that reflects your circumstances and is packed with the same features and benefits as a standard car insurance policy.

How big a problem is uninsured driving?

Uninsured drivers are one of the biggest risks on our roads. According to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), around 26,000 people were injured in 2018 due to an incident with an uninsured or untraced ‘hit and run’ driver. That’s the equivalent of one person being injured every 20 minutes.
Data also shows that uninsured drivers are involved in a disproportionately high number of fatal incidents every year. More than 130 people are killed annually by an uninsured or untraced hit and run driver.
Then, there’s the economic impact of uninsured drivers. Government data combined with MIB’s records suggests that uninsured and untraced drivers cost the economy more than £1.8 billion every year. This includes costs for things like medical care, emergency services, property damage and loss of productivity.
Uninsured driving costs the insurance sector around £400 million each year. This has a knock-on effect and ultimately means that honest drivers pay higher premiums to subsidise the financial loss to the industry.
In the UK in 2018, 132,804 uninsured vehicles were seized, with the worst hit areas being London, Manchester, Birmingham and West Yorkshire.
All of these statistics demonstrate just how serious the issue is here in the UK.
 A person driving a car with both hands on the wheel

What are the risks?

As the Gov.UK website states, it’s against the law to drive on a road or in a public space without having at least third party cover.
If you’re caught driving without insurance by the police, then you could receive a fixed penalty of £300 as well as six penalty points on your licence. If your case is heard by a court, then you could get an unlimited fine and be banned from driving.
If you’re disqualified from driving for more than 56 days, then you’ll need to apply for a new licence before you can drive again. You may also need to retake your driving test or take an extended test before getting your full licence back – all at your own expense.
When the police pull you over, they have the power to seize the uninsured vehicle you’re driving. In some cases, the police could even destroy the vehicle.

Are there any other risks?

If you’re caught driving an uninsured vehicle, this won’t just impact your driving record and ability to find competitive insurance in future. It can affect your life in a number of ways, too.
For instance, if you’re someone who relies heavily on your car – whether it’s for commuting to and from work, dropping the kids off at school, or transporting your elderly parents – then having the car seized or being banned from driving could prove a real hindrance.
Also, an uninsured driving conviction will show on Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, which could seriously impact your employment prospects. Particularly if driving is – or was – a large part of your job.

What if you didn’t realise you were uninsured?

As the RAC explains, allowing your insurance policy to lapse can still get you in trouble – even if it’s just for a day.
Insurers are under no obligation to renew your policy automatically, though may do nowadays. It’s down to you to make sure you’re covered before you get behind the wheel.
 A blue police siren flashing on top of a police car

‘Special reasons’ for driving an uninsured vehicle

Sometimes drivers cite ‘special reasons’ for why they might be driving without insurance in the hope of reducing their punishment. Examples of these mitigating circumstances include:
  • The policy not being in force due to a fault on the behalf of a provider
  • A provider cancelling a policy without letting the driver know
  • A driver being told (by the owner of the vehicle or policyholder) that they could drive the vehicle legally
  • Someone having a legitimate reason to believe they were insured

Fully comp? Read the terms and conditions!

Every insurance policy is different. So even if you have comprehensive insurance – the highest level of cover you can get – don’t assume that you’re automatically allowed to drive other vehicles on a third party basis.
Many providers set limitations for age and experience, so be sure to read the terms and conditions thoroughly before jumping in the driver’s seat of another car (with the owner’s permission, of course).
It’s also worth pointing out that the owner of a vehicle can be convicted of an offence if they let their car be used by a driver who isn’t insured. Both drivers could be fined and get penalty points on their licence.

Convicted driver insurance from the Insurance Factory

If you have a conviction on your driving record, then you might be finding it hard to get insurance for your car for a good price.

Many insurers will consider you a greater risk to insure due to your offence and raise your premium significantly, while others could refuse to cover you altogether.
This is where the Insurance Factory can help. We specialise in convicted driver insurance that has all the same features and benefits as a standard policy.

We’ll take your individual circumstances into account when arranging cover and strive to be as competitive as possible with pricing.
Get a quick and free convicted driver insurance quote today!

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.